What I Don’t Get About Fifty Shades of Grey

I read an article recently in the NY Post about the revolutionary idea that Fifty Shades of Grey might be ready for primetime, at least according to Lifetime boss Nancy Dubuc.

From the April 16th article: “I watched the firestorm, the domino effect of the very first woman in my circle to admit having read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ ” Dubuc says. “And it took about 6.3 seconds for the other 50 women (in the room) to admit that they had read it, too. You are just waiting for that first person or that first show or that first moment. We are in a cultural moment,” she tells The Post. “Literally and figuratively, women are coming out of the closet about how they feel and asking tough questions. . .”

What on earth are you talking about, woman?  ‘Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey?’ is a tough question? Ok, I can’t say I read it. I did buy it to see what the hype was about. I thumbed through it, but even if I could get beyond the gee whiz aspect of its tone, it seemed way too tame for all its controversy, in fact I thought it excruciatingly boring. Call me jaded if you like, but in my day women cut their sexually liberated teeth on The Story of O (ok, that sounds pretty bad, didn’t mean to get all vagina denta on you), handing it off to each other as if it were Gone With The Wind. We read deSade’s Justine during the collegiate years. Somewhere someone probably read it in class. Fifty Shades of Grey wouldn’t have made it on our radar.

And reading was the tip of that iceberg. As far as sexual politics go, we were devoted to revolutionary acts. A lot of them were not very good ideas, but we’d all just come out of the pre Summer of Love years when “Don’t get a girl pregnant, it’ll ruin your life” echoed through every young man’s brain so that any of them who wanted a life (all of ‘em) kept condoms in their wallets ‘just in case’. After a while, most of those wallets wore the telltale indentation of a condom ring because they never got used. If they ever did, they’d probably turn to dust before they got out of the foil. Not because these boys wanted to ruin their lives but because young women had their own brain echo: “Who’s going to buy the cow if you give away the milk for free” so they just never got the chance. You see, all the young men then thought they could have a life and wanted one very badly while all of young women really, really wanted to be a bought cow.

Then came the Haight and the Beatles and the drugs and the rock n’ roll. For better or worse, everything changed. Every last one of us had times we surely ain’t gonna talk about to the grandkids, and I’m only telling tales now because I’d really like to know:  how’d Pandora get all that stuff back in the box?

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